Athleticism takes many forms, and in the case of the “Fortnite” players who’ll face off in the Olympics’ Esports week, it will look like dexterous fingers and caffeine-heightened eyes.
The Olympic Esports Week will take place at Singapore’s Suntec Centre from June 22 to 25. The days of the festival will feature different lineups of games, all themed around the idea of representing real-world sports, up to and including chess. “Gran Turismo” will be there for motorsport, “JustDance” will represent dance, and so on and so forth.
“Fortnite” will be the virtual stand-in for shooting. According to the International Olympic Committee’s news post:
“The event will see 12 players from the 2023 Fortnite Champion Series (FNCS) invited to compete on the global stage. A specially designed Fortnite Creative Island, made to reflect sport shooting competition, will put the target-aiming accuracy of sharp shooters to the test and see them navigate the in-game environment as they compete to become an Olympic Esports Series winner.”
As the description alludes to, the version of “Fortnite” being played at the Olympics Esports Week won’t be the standard version millions upon millions of people play every day. It’ll be a specialized variant of the game built for the competition, likely eschewing many facets of the title’s traditional format wherein 100 players drop onto a shrinking map, build defensive fortifications, and shoot at each other until only one remains.
Given that characters from across entertainment are prominent in “Fortnite,” including Tony Stark, Kratos, and Will Smith’s character from “Bad Boys,” it’s unclear if we’ll see any of these avatars officially compete in the Olympics or if stock avatars will be required for the competition. Still, the fact such a hypothetical is even on the table shows how far we’ve flown past the traditional definition of sports and what the Olympics used to be about.